ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS JOHN PAUL II
Saturday, 18 November 1989
I am pleased to greet the participants in the “Global Studies Program” and to welcome you to the Vatican. In your studies, you are exploring the many challenges and possibilities which face countries throughout the world in their search for freedom, peace and authentic social and economic progress.
I am sure that your visit to Rome will be a privileged moment of your year of study. This city, with its archaeological, artistic and religious monuments, bears eloquent witness to Europe’s quest down the centuries to create a civilization directed by the pursuit of the common good, inspired by the highest human values and expressed in the life of a community governed by a just and humane system of laws. These efforts have not always been completely successful, but your studies will certainly lead you to understand the importance of Europe’s spiritual unity based upon the values of the Christian Gospel, and enable you to appreciate how significant this cultural and religious heritage is today in the historic developments taking place around us.
In mankind’s quest for peace and justice, the Catholic Church has a specific contribution to make, which derives from the Gospel message concerning the dignity of each individual as a person created in the image and likeness of God. As you reflect on the impressive cultural heritage which Christian Rome has bequeathed to the modern world, may you perceive the enduring power of the spiritual vision of man which has been its inspiration and guiding force.
Ladies and Gentlemen: there can be no true freedom, no just economic order and no lasting peace, unless the dignity and truth of the human person are unceasingly proclaimed, respected and defended. As you continue your studies, may you understand ever more deeply the unchanging spiritual values which underlie any authentic development of individuals and of human society.
Upon each of you I invoke God’s abundant blessings.
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